Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Hardbacks

What with all the talk of libraries and classification lately, here's an apposite poem from John Terry.


Hardbacks


The books you’ve requested

are certainly here – but since

our Index altered itself


the stock moves at random.

Whole shelves of books

will vanish, then reappear


in a different section. You

have entered an area

where high Index numbers


frequently auto-accelerate

beyond their Critical Library

Mark. You can expect Flutter,


Disordered Page Syndrome

and complete Control Reversal.

Our librarians are fully trained


in runaway system management,

but Health and Safety insist

that borrowers must wear


protective dust-jackets at all times.

Some of our more rugged volumes

will not hesitate to read you like a book.